Community Energy Cumbria
Communities across Cumbria have installed facilities to generate their own renewable energy and benefit local people.
What’s this about?
Community Energy Cumbria (CEC) was set up in 2015 to identify renewable energy projects in the county and raise the money to develop them. People are invited to invest in CEC by buying shares and this money is then used to pay for the renewable energy system and install it in the community. Investors are paid back with interest on any profits that result from the sale of the electricity.
What did they do?
After raising £260,000, CEC installed a hydroelectric turbine at Killington reservoir. This was installed by tapping into an existing overflow pipe as it surfaced below the reservoir’s dam.
They also raised over £45,000 to install a solar PV array on the roof of the Lake District National Park Authority’s headquarters in Kendal. The resulting electricity is then bought by the LDNPA and this money feeds back to CEC and its shareholders.
What difference has it made to the people?
In the first year of Killington Hydro being operational, the project made approximately £21,500 in profit to distribute back to shareholders and to put into other community benefit projects.
Additionally, the solar PV array in Kendal produces an annual profit of around £3,700. This money also goes back to investors with surplus being redirected to pay for other community projects.
What difference has it made to the climate?
The Killington hydro project generates around 150,000kWh of electricity annually which saves 80,423kg of carbon emissions every year. Over the 20 years the project will run for, this will amount to 1.6 million kg of carbon saved.
The solar panels generate an additional 20,159kWh, saving around 10,913kg of carbon per year.